ATHENS, Ga. - The 22nd-ranked Florida volleyball team (8-5, 2-1 SEC) defeated the Georgia Bulldogs (4-9, 0-2) in straight sets on Wednesday night in Stegeman Coliseum.
The Gators took the first set 25-14 and followed with a 25-17 victory in the second to go up 2-0 in the match. UF closed out the match with a tight 26-24 battle in the final set.
Florida's offense was led by a 13-kill effort from T'ara Ceasar, while Thayer Hall pitched in 11 kills of her own on the night. Both of the outsides notched a .345 clip in the three-setter.
Merritt Beason and Lauren Forte each recorded eight kills on the night, tallying .400 and .375 clips, respectively.
Marlie Monserez registered 40 assists in the match, leading Florida to a .346 clip in the three-setter. The senior setter became just the seventh Gator to record at least 3,000 assists in a career.
As a team, Florida registered 9.0 blocks at the net, led by five from Lauren Dooley. Beason, Ceasar and Forte each added three blocks apiece in the victory.
The backcourt defense was led by Elli McKissock, who recorded a 10-dig performance. Hall added seven digs of her own on the night, while Beason added six.
Ceasar posted a team-high three service aces in the match, followed by a career-high two from Beason.
The Gators continue their conference slate with a two-match series against Ole Miss, beginning Saturday in Exactech Arena. Saturday's first serve is schedule for 3 p.m. on the SEC Network +, while Sunday's match on SECN+ is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.
No. 22 Florida (8-5, 2-1 SEC)
Georgia (4-9, 0-2 SEC)
How it Happened
- With the first set tied at 7-all, the Gators burst out to the 13-8 lead behind service runs from Trinity Adams and Monserez to force the Bulldogs to use their first timeout of the match. Out of the break, the Gators continued to roll, taking a 10-point lead at the 20-10 mark. Georgia pulled to within eight at 21-13, but Florida closed out the set on a 4-1 run to secure the win.
- The Gators hit a stellar .536 in the first frame, while holding Georgia to a .071 clip. Beason recorded a team-high five kills in the set, while Ceasar added four of her own.
- The Gators picked up right where they left off in the second set, sprinting out to the 8-3 lead to force a Georgia timeout. The Bulldogs continued to stick around, pulling within three at 12-9, but Florida strung together a 5-1 run to take the 17-10 advantage. The Gators kept the heat on Georgia, taking an 11-point lead at 23-12. The Bulldogs got to within seven at 23-16 after a 4-0 run, but Florida was able to clinch the set 25-17 to go up 2-0 in the match.
- The Gators hit .343 in the second frame, while once again holding the Bulldogs to below a .200 clip (.172). Ceasar posted four kills in the frame, while Forte and Hall each added three apiece.
- With the third set tied 4-4, Georgia went on a 4-0 run to take the 8-4 advantage and force a Florida timeout. The Gators responded with a 4-0 run of their own behind the serves of Beason to tie it up once again at 8-all. The Bulldogs pulled ahead for the slight advantage at 12-9, but the Gators fought to within one at 14-13. Georgia forced Florida to use its last timeout at the 20-15 mark after pulling ahead late. Out of the break, the Gators exploded on a 5-0 run behind the serves of Ceasar to knot the frame at 20-all. The teams traded points from that point on until Florida was able to string together a 3-0 run to secure the set 26-24.
- Hall posted a team-high six kills in the final frame, followed by five from Ceasar.
- With her 40 assists on the night, Marlie Monserez became just the seventh Gator to eclipse the 3,000-assist mark
- T'ara Ceasar has now recorded double-digit kills in 11-straight matches
- Merritt Beason recorded a career-high two service aces in the match
- The Gators improve to 68-10 against Georgia in the all-time series
- UF is now 49-4 against the Bulldogs in three-set matches
- The Gators improve to 29-4 against UGA in Athens, Ga.
- Florida improves to 6-1 in three-set matches during the 2021 campaign
Thoughts from Coach Wise
"The challenges haven't stopped, but tonight the team showed so much resiliency to play as focused and as well as we did on the road."
- The Gators return to Exactech Arena to take on the Ole Miss Rebels in a two-match series beginning Saturday
- Saturday's match is slated for a 3 p.m. start, while Sunday's first serve is at 1 p.m.
- Both matches will air on the SEC Network +